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Aflac and the American Association for Cancer Research Unite to Issue Inaugural Aflac Career Development Award for Childhood Cancer Research

COLUMBUS, Ga., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) today announced the presentation of the first-ever AACR Career Development Award for Childhood Cancer Research, endowed by Aflac to aid in the fight to cure pediatric cancer. The award, which includes a two-year grant of $55,000 per year, was presented at AACR's Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif., to Dr. Charles G. Mullighan, a hematologist and hematopathologist pursuing research in the area of molecular biology of acute leukemia. Dr. Mullighan conducts his research at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a world-renowned cancer research facility located in Memphis, Tenn.

Dr. Mullighan was recommended for the Career Development Award by Dr. James R. Downing, scientific director and chairman of the Pathology Department at St. Jude. Dr. Downing noted that Dr. Mullighan as an outstanding candidate for having conducted a three-year pioneering study performing genomic profiling of pediatric acute leukemia.

"At Aflac, we believe that the road to conquering cancer is paved by the best and brightest of our young scientists," said Aflac Foundation President Kathelen Amos. "Aflac is proud to provide this endowment, which will enable young cancer research pioneers to continue their studies until we find a cure."

Praising Aflac's alliance, AACR Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), said, "For the past decade, Aflac has invested in helping young scientists and doctors get the training they need at our national meetings. Now, they have taken a giant step by supporting researchers in childhood cancers. Together, AACR and Aflac will make a difference in the lives of patients and their families."

In addition to the Career Development Award for Childhood Cancer Research, Aflac is a longtime supporter of the AACR's Scholar in Training Awards program, having contributed more than $1 million since 1997 and given more than 750 Scholar in Training Awards to deserving scientists. Aflac is also committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education at the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Children's, one of the top three pediatric healthcare systems in the country, is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of the community. Visit or call 404-250-KIDS for more information.

About Aflac

For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan. Our insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's Most Admired Companies for seven years and in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for ten consecutive years. Aflac has also been recognized three times by both Fortune magazine's listing of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities and Working Mother magazine's listing of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit

About AACR

Founded in 1907, the AACR is a professional society of more than 22,000 laboratory and clinical scientists engaged in cancer research in the United States, Canada and more than 60 other countries. AACR's mission is to accelerate the prevention and cure of cancer through research, education, communication and advocacy. Its principal activities include the publication of five leading peer-reviewed scientific journals (Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Cancer Research, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and Molecular Cancer Therapeutics).

About Dr. Charles Grenfell Mullighan

Dr. Charles Grenfell Mullighan, a native of South Australia, is a hematologist and hematopathologist pursuing research in the molecular biology of acute leukemia. He completed his hematology fellowship in Australia in January 2004 and has served as a Physician Scientist Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. James Downing, Department of Pathology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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